Gold Star For Me!

So, I fully intended to sit down and write a somewhat shamefaced apology to the world on behalf of all Melbourne for the giant flying koalas debacle… but I kind of got distracted by my health.

I am still sorry about the koalas. And the duck. Let me just say this… it was not MY idea! Our ‘esteemed’ Premier said in an interview just prior to last night’s opening ceremony that said ceremony would showcase Melbourne as the truly sophisticated city we are. Um. Yeah.

But that’s all forgotten now. I get a gold star for my blood pressure today!

See, for the last six weeks, I have been deliberately not talking about all things pregnancy. Because the more I talk about it, the more I think about it, and the more stressed I get. And the more it becomes a problem. My blood pressure, that is. The problem, it seems, and I have believed this for some years anyway, is that I have what is affectionately known as ‘white-coat hypertension’. Essentially, that means doctors stress me out to the point where my blood pressure increases just by visiting one! It just kind of makes it hard to accurately monitor my bp. I have experienced the joy of having a 24-hour monitor strapped to me once before, and 90% of all the measurements were within a normal range. Admittedly, my ‘normal’ bp is on the high end of the scale, but not to the point of requiring treatment.

Those of you who’ve been pregnant, however, know how antsy doctors get about blood pressure and pre-eclampsia and whatnot. So six weeks ago, when my bp was suddenly high at one antenatal visit, I was launched through a barrage of extra visits, endocrinologists and fun tests. One of the ‘features’ of the public health system (and please don’t misunderstand me, I love the public system and that I can still have a baby for free, nada, zip in this country) is that you never seem to see the same doctor twice. That sucks for white-coat hypertensives, and frankly, the bedside manner of the last three doctors I saw left much to be desired.

Today – brilliance! I saw someone who in fact turned out to be someone who was once a semi-colleague of mine. During my honours research year I was stationed in a hospital department partnered with his. He recognized me, which was nice. And, he treated me like a human being. What’s more, like an intelligent human being. You have no idea how much more at ease this puts me. After talking things through with him, my BP today was back down to normal (for me), which makes me super happy. Now that it’s officially on the hospital record that I have eccentric bp, even the scowling doctors should be somewhat appeased, and what’s more I feel better armed to discuss my options from hereforth. No, it’s not a guarantee against pre-eclampsia, by any means, but it makes me feel much more confident that I’m not heading directly (do-not-pass-Go) down that route.

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